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Thread: Looking to setup a new server

  1. #1
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    Default Looking to setup a new server

    Third time is a charm... hopefully. After a couple of distractions we are on our third test server and finally/hopefully ready to get Zimbra up and running for real this time The first thing I need to do though is pick up a new machine to run it on so I'm looking for some ideas especially for the disk layout. We are going to have 50 accounts (usually we're only about 30-35 users but occasionally we spike w/ temp employees/interns) and I was estimating 25G-30G quota per account. So the main partition needs to be at least 1.5T. I would also prefer to run on ubunutu. So my questions are:

    - 1.5T and 2T drives are out there but I assume it would be better to run on some sort of RAID w/ 1T "sever/enterprise class" drives right?

    - What sort of backup partition is needed? I take there is a lot of replication in the db itself (so the same email in multiple accounts is only actually storing a single copy right?) so hopefully a full 1.5T isn't needed for a full backup of a theoretically full system (all accounts maxed on quote), but what has been people's experience?

    - Speaking of which, what are people using for backups? Mainly disk to disk or are people using tapes? BTW does zimbra supports direct to tape backup, it doesn't look like it but maybe I'm missing something? If nothing else I can still configure ubuntu/cron to backup the /opt/zimbra/backup dir right?

    So what I'm thinking is a machine w/ an 8 port RAID server, 4x1T (just under 3T usable) drives for the OS and /opt/zimbra, 3x1T (~2T usable) drives for /opt/zimbra/backup and 1x1T drive hot spare. Then a tape drive for backup/offsite storage of /opt/zimbra/backup. Does that sound like a good setup as far as the disks?

    Have to say I'm not too concerned about processors or memory but if anyone has recommendations/hints/clues/suggestions on those I'd love to hear them.

    TIA

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    Are you considering the Network or Community Edition of Zimbra as that would effect the backup requirements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fhouston View Post
    So what I'm thinking is a machine w/ an 8 port RAID server, 4x1T (just under 3T usable) drives for the OS and /opt/zimbra, 3x1T (~2T usable) drives for /opt/zimbra/backup and 1x1T drive hot spare. Then a tape drive for backup/offsite storage of /opt/zimbra/backup. Does that sound like a good setup as far as the disks?
    I would not go RAID 5 with SATA TB drives as the overhead of the parity calculations will slow your system down. SATA drives are cheap so if you want to go that route use RAID 10.

    Since you are going to be moving your backups off site why use RAID 5 for the /opt/zimbra/backup directory? If the drive fails you have the live data and your off site backups. You can just replace and continue working.

    If this was my box I would do something like

    2 - 600GB 15K SAS drives RAID 1 (OS and Zimbra)
    4 - 1TB SATA drives RAID 10 (/opt/zimbra/store)
    2 - 1TB SATA drives RAID 0 (/opt/zimbra/backup)

    The Zimbra databases and store index are on SAS drives for fast data access. You have just under 2TB of storage for mailboxes and the same for backups. Although if you completely fill the 2TB of mailbox storage then your not going to have enough backup space.

    Do you have hard numbers showing that your users need 25-30GB for their mailboxes? At my company we have 150 mailboxes taking up just under a TB of space. I see the marketing mailboxes grow to around 10GB for those that have been working 2-3 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uxbod View Post
    Are you considering the Network or Community Edition of Zimbra as that would effect the backup requirements.
    Network edition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rsw686 View Post
    Since you are going to be moving your backups off site why use RAID 5 for the /opt/zimbra/backup directory? If the drive fails you have the live data and your off site backups. You can just replace and continue working.
    Guess it's just kind of the standard we have adopted around here... I like the redundancy that RAID5 (or 1 or 10) provides, because while I have off site backups, actually having to use them is a PITA They are really more for a catastrophic/building burns down sort of recovery than a drive fails sort of thing.

    If this was my box I would do something like

    2 - 600GB 15K SAS drives RAID 1 (OS and Zimbra)
    4 - 1TB SATA drives RAID 10 (/opt/zimbra/store)
    2 - 1TB SATA drives RAID 0 (/opt/zimbra/backup)
    Cool, thanks for the suggestion. I may increase the box a little and make "backup" a RAID5 still though, don't care for RAID0 myself (unless you then make it a 10 ). The throughput on the "backup" partition shouldn't be that critical right (since it only runs periodically)? So the performance due to the parity calculations shouldn't be that detrimental.


    Do you have hard numbers showing that your users need 25-30GB for their mailboxes? At my company we have 150 mailboxes taking up just under a TB of space. I see the marketing mailboxes grow to around 10GB for those that have been working 2-3 years.
    Right now I have just two users who are over 20G, w/ another at about 18G. Two more just above 10G and everyone else is less than 10G. I suspect though a lot of people are storing mail on their local machines. We tried to limit that by having the current mail server only support IMAP, but then all these IMAP clients started allowing off-line storage so ... I'm hoping when we switch over to Zimbra I can get everyone in the habit of keeping stuff on the server, so those numbers a likely to increase.

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